Migraines and bruxism and TMJ. OH MY!

I grind my teeth at night (aka bruxism). Every night. I don’t know I do it until the next morning when Hubs tells me I kept him up most of the night. It’s that bad.

“What in the world does this have to do with writing?” you may ask.

Well, it gives me headaches. Bad ones sometimes, depending on how much grinding I did the night before. (We’re talking teeth here! Get your mind out of the gutter!)

I also suffer from the occasional migraine. Now, take a migraine (your head is much too small for your brain, your eyes are gonna pop outta their sockets at any second, the light is too bright even in a pitch black room, and every whisper of your cat’s tail brushing against the carpet is as bad as a jackhammer being used directly on your ear drums) and add the grinding of teeth and you get absolutely no productivity for a day or two.

It sucks.

What’s worse is, I have TMJ (which I just found out is actually referred to as TMD in the dental field). The reason that makes things worse is the fact that every mouth guard out there designed to help stop grinding your teeth is for people who do not have TMJ. At least, the really bad cases. And if migraines and grinding teeth aren’t enough, I have a bad case of TMJ.

My jaw locks.

And again, it sucks. I can open my mouth only a couple of centimeters when it’s like that. Swallowing is difficult because of the way it locks. In the best cases, my jaw unlocks after a couple of minutes. Worst case, it takes HOURS.

Now, because my jaw locks, I cannot put a mouth guard in. What would happen if my jaw locked with the damn thing in there? I don’t know, and I don’t want to find out.

Poor Hubs. He gets horrible sleep because of me. Last night, he poked me twenty times at least (he told me). He’s begged me to “just please wear the mouth guard. If my jaw locks, we’ll get it out some how. It is really small after all.”

But I don’t. I offer a compromise though. If I keep him up at night with my grinding of teeth, wake me up and I will move to the couch. He doesn’t like that idea though. He doesn’t think that I should have to sleep on the couch just because I grind my teeth.

Anyways, I will get to the point now.

Due to all three of these things, I had zero productivity this weekend. On Friday I was able to get a few hundred words written in my WIP, but the rest of the weekend was a total mess of me in pain and unable to form a coherent thought let alone a sentence for my book.

That means I have a lot to catch up on. My word count goal for this week is already off to a too slow start. And after taking a few weeks off of the WIP to attend a funeral, do some short stories, and get them revised and such, I really need to get going on this book! I have decided to push myself this week. Instead of the usual 5000 words a week that I had been doing, I’m saying “Damn the cleaning! Damn the laundry! And damn the grinding! I’ve got work to do!!!” and I’m pumping out 10,000 words this week if it kills me!

Before summer break, I was able to get that much and some times more done in a week… Then my daughter didn’t have to go to school and my productivity took a hit. I knew it would, but I’ve become complacent with it. I accepted it as my fate that summers were just not good for writing.

That isn’t true though. So far this summer, I have told 100 stories to my children, all made up on the spot! If I can get creative enough to do that for my children, why can’t I get creative enough to do that for myself as well? Do I not deserve it? OF COURSE I DO!!!

So, my creativity will be spent on 10,000 words to make up for the weeks that have been slow. I will make my word count goal and when I do I will celebrate with… with… Well, I don’t know how I will celebrate, but it will be awesome!

As Chuck Wendig says, Beard the Fuck On!!!

About Katie Doyle

Katie Doyle is an avid reader, writer of NA and Adult fiction, a mom to two tornadoes that resemble an eight and six year old, and pet to a tuxedo cat named Oz and a German Shepherd/Boxer rescue named Charlie. If she's not reading, writing, or getting Oz out of a tree, she's screaming at characters on TV and trying not to curse around her kids.
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